Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez could be activated as early as next weekend, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. He is scheduled to make a rehab start with the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate on Monday, which would put the 33-year-old on track to rejoin the Seattle rotation on Saturday or Sunday, assuming no setbacks.
With the Mariners squarely outside of the playoff picture, the veteran Hernandez won’t be returning to contribute to a playoff contender, something he has missed for his entire career. Instead, it looks as if King Felix will be playing with an eye on his future in the Majors. Playing out the last of a seven-year deal, Hernandez is slated to reach free agency at season’s end, though he won’t be the commodity that would’ve captivated teams less than a decade ago. Indeed, he may not be a lock to receive a guaranteed contract.
Since inking that extension prior to 2013, Hernandez has seen his performance decline from a Hall of Fame trajectory to that of a borderline rotation piece. After eclipsing 200 innings pitched in eight consecutive seasons from 2008-15, Felix has suffered injuries that have only hastened his undoing. That fall from grace has come to a head this season, where the Mariners icon has mustered a 6.52 ERA, albeit in just eight starts. Of course, with a return seemingly on the horizon, King Felix should get several chances to reverse his fortune and finish his Mariners tenure on a high note.
King Felix’s decline has been well-documented, but it’s undeniable the impact that he has had on the Mariners organization and baseball’s landscape as a whole. Needless to say, followers of the Mariners and other teams alike would like to see the former Cy Young Award winner continue to pitch in the big leagues in hopes that he can reinvent himself into a serviceable rotation piece. On the one hand, one might point to cases like Justin Verlander or Charlie Morton, pitchers who have enjoyed renaissances at an advanced age; at 33, one would think there’s something left in the tank for Felix. On the other hand, there’s considerable mileage on Hernandez’s right arm: debuting at 19, he’s accumulated nearly 2700 innings pitched at the Major League level, fourth among active pitchers and significantly more than most of his contemporaries logged through their age-33 seasons.
Verlander and Morton still have pretty good fastballs. Felix not so much. Maybe he is still young enough to figure it out though
It seems like most people overlook that, Verlander and Morton can throw in the mid to upper 90’s, while Felix is upper 80’s.
Older guys also need a connection with someone who can show them some new tricks, or help them dope their way to renaissance.
He’s just gonna need to learn how to pitch like greg Maddux
Oh yeah, simple as.
It would be interesting to see if the Astros could do anything with him
Can totally see him in an Astros uniform. Knowing them, he’ll go 16-5 next year. Gerrit Cole will sign a crazy deal somewhere else, and be hurt by June.
I hope he dominates in his final few starts (ever) for the Mariners!
Verlander and Morton have two things that at this point in time Felix does not. Both have a better fastball and realized they needed to change how they pitched to win. I’m not at all sure Felix has accepted the later as a fact. He’s been The King since he entered the Bigs and I hope I’m wrong but I don’t think he’s accepted his decline. I think he believes that it’s all because of his recent injuries not how he pitches.
He’s making 27 M this year and if he doesn’t show something in the rest of the season. Next year he may be lucky to get a minor league contract. I’m not sure he’s ego or anyone else’s to be honest, could accept that. He could very well retire.
Carmelo Anthony is to NBA as King Felix is to MLB.
Not even close. Please expand on your opinion.
Horrible comparison. Felix is a well liked guy that dominated for a decade while Melo had always been a jerk that was only interested in himself and was lazy.
If Felix played for the Red Sox or Yankees on the same performance trajectory, there would be no question among the media whether or not he would be a hall of famer.
Feel like if he went and kick his butt into elite shape, he can still pitch at a high enough lvl to contribute. He’ll be the kind of guy who can help a rebuilding team eat inning then flip to some contenders if he’s pitching well. Again, assuming he can fix himself or get a little better
6x all star, 1 cy young, 2500 ks, a perfect game.
I think he gets in the HOF if he never pitched again.
I am hoping he isn’t done yet though….he’s fun to watch.
Fun to watch? Ya, if you’re a rival fan watching your team hitting bombs off him.
Signs a 1yr deal with the orioles next year is my guess.
I could see a team like the Rangers or Angels picking him up on a one year deal with tons of incentives. They both do not have great pitching staffs and he could be one of those players that could give you innings.
He should be there closer
He needs to go to whatever team he thinks can help him the most. Verlander looked done before he got traded and he’s pitching like his younger self now. He has said much of it is due to Houston’s use of technology to fix his mechanics (slow motion camera, analytics, etc). Still on him to take the advice and out in the work, but they have done wonders for a number of guys.
Wrong! Justin Verlander did not look “done” before he was traded. He had a core injury that took 1-1/2 years to recover from. He pitched a gem before the trade. Technology and analytics had ZERO to do with Verlander’s return to dominance. He stays in great shape and he now pitches on a world class team that values defense. The Tigers always had a poor overall defense which kept the Tiger pitchers on the mound unnecessarily long.
Felix Hernandez, on the other hand, has not remade himself the way Frank Tanana had to. Tanana was an absolute flame thrower when he came up with the Angels then turned himself into one of the best trick pitch masters the second half of his career.
Sounds like someone hates technology and analytics.
Move on, he ain’t got nothing left. Who is crazy enough to sign him this off season? Yesterday’s news.
It’s not the easiest thing in the world to utilize the word “indeed” in an article. I like how you did that, George. My man. About the only thing I can think of cooler is figuring out how to be normal while also using the word “behold” in a verbal conversation. Has anyone ever actually witnessed someone do that in a personal one on one convo?
The King is back…
I remember it blowing my mind seeing his 88mph curveball with impossible movement when he first came up.
Guys at his current performance level are plentiful. I would almost think a minor league deal would be in order. He would probably just resign with Seattle if it came to that.
Seattle reporters have said that neither side wants a reunion.
Oh good. Whew! I was worried the M’s would finish the season WITHOUT negative clubhouse drama.